Simply stated, a Web host is a company that provides space in a server and connectivity to the Internet. Web hosting is what allows your author website to be visible on the World Wide Web. To ensure that guests have a problem-free visit to your website, it’s important that you choose the right Web hosting service. But what constitutes a good host?
To help you make this important decision, we’ll explain exactly what Web hosting means, what you need to know about it, and how to find the perfect host for your author website!
Web Hosting: What You Need To Know
What does Web hosting mean?
Your website is made of digital files, and those files have to be saved (stored) somewhere so that visitors can access them. Think of it as similar to the way you have your writing stored on a flash drive or computer hard drive. Your website files have to be stored too—but it’s special storage: Your Web host has a server (a really big computer for storage) that allows people browsing the Web to see your files.
Why is it necessary to have a good Web host?
If you end up with a bad Web hosting service, a number of things can go wrong. The worst-case scenario is your website may experience downtime. Most hosting companies provide some guarantee for site uptime; those that don’t might not be as reliable. Also, if something does go wrong with your website (e.g. you encounter Internal Server Errors, plugins malfunction, or your site is hacked), a less reputable host may refuse to address the problem. When your website has issues, you definitely want your Web hosting service to be available and ready to help.
How do I find a Web hosting service?
A simple Google search for “Web hosting service” will provide you with several options to choose from. It’s always a good idea to research several hosting companies before committing to one. Make sure to read reviews, compare prices and services, and schedule time to call prospective hosting companies so you can make an informed decision.
Of course, since you’re here and you’re reading this, it’s worth a moment of your time to look into the Web Design Relief Hosting Care Package as well.
Do Web hosting services offer any support?
Yes. Some Web hosting services offer real-time support via phone, e-mail, or live chat to their customers. However, some companies say they offer lots of support and then direct their clients to forums or conversations with other users—as opposed to actually talking with the client. Some might offer limited support and then charge for additional services. Be sure to ask lots of questions!
What’s the difference between hosting options?
Most Web hosting services have three distinct types of hosting: shared hosting, VPS, and dedicated server hosting.
Shared Hosting: Your site will be stored on a server with several hundred (or more) other sites. These plans usually provide the cheapest options, but are more prone to downtime. This option is best for most authors, however, especially those who are just starting out. If your website doesn’t receive a lot of traffic, you shouldn’t have any downtime issues.
VPS (or Virtual Private Servers): Although the websites are hosted on the same physical machine, VPS allows each website to be fully independent as if each were on its own separate machine. VPS makes use of cloud computing technology to share resources among sites, giving them added protection from hackers.
Dedicated Server Hosting: Your website is stored on a server that is used solely for your website. This is usually the safest option because no other websites will be using your website’s allotted memory, disk space, or bandwidth, thus providing more consistent uptime.
For most personal and small business sites, shared hosting is usually sufficient. Larger companies or organizations that require massive amounts of storage space and bandwidth might be served better by VPS or dedicated server hosting.
What constitutes a fair price for Web hosting?
Fair prices may range anywhere between five and sixty dollars per month for Shared Hosting, depending on what additional services a Web hosting company offers other than the hosting itself. As you request more storage space or higher bandwidth or move up to VPS or a dedicated server, you can expect to pay upwards for $200+ per month.
Web Design Relief Hosting Care Package
While you’re looking for a Web hosting service that fits your needs, be sure to consider Web Design Relief!
At Web Design Relief, we offer a Hosting Care Package that not only includes hosting for your site, but unlimited storage space and bandwidth, weekly software updates, and weekly backups of your site’s files for the fixed price of $20/month. And what’s more, we maintain our own dedicated server, so your author website is safe in our hands. Click here to get started today!
Photo by Tom Raftery
QUESTION: What other questions about Web hosting do you still have? Let us know in the comments!